OCFC 2 Fight Back to Remain Undefeated!

by Art Eftekhari

Strong second half propels ocfc 2 to victory over alta california

Lake Forest, CA – When other teams in the UPSL SoCal North Division I look at the standings, they see Orange County FC 2 at the top of the table.

Everyone wants to give the undefeated team its first loss and Alta California Sol came to Lake Forest with plenty of motivation and it immediately showed on the pitch.

Both teams traded opportunities in the first half and OCFC 2 had chances to take the lead, but Alta California goalkeeper Adrian Gonzalez came up with crucial saves.

Alta California created problems for the OCFC 2 defenders and took the lead late in the first half when Heymer Martinez pounced on a loose ball. 

The frustration from the OCFC 2 players was visible on the field but something must have happened during the break because the second half was a different story. 

“I told them that they were very good players,” Head Coach Paul Caligiuri said. 

“I also told them that it was only a matter of time before the first goal would come, and then the next. But the key was keeping the reserves focused and ready to come into the game.”

Caligiuri’s message to his men clearly worked because midfielder Tristan Koreas scored quickly after the restart to level the score at 1-1.

OCFC 2 kept up the pressure and second half substitute Nick Cardenas gave OCFC 2 the lead when he connected on a corner kick from Jose Montes de Oca.

Alta California Sol was constantly under pressure and didn’t know where to turn. 

Nick Cardenas scored his second of the game when he fired a shot from twenty yards out to beat a diving Gonzalez and give OCFC 2 a commanding 3-1 lead.

In the dying minutes of the match, Alta California cut the lead to 3-2 but soon after the final whistle blew as OCFC 2 improved to 5-0 on the season.

Goalkeeper Pepe Miranda made his first appearance of the season for OCFC 2 and got the victory with solid saves and the leadership he always brings to the field.

Paul Caligiuri was all smiles after the match and glad his men were able to win their fifth consecutive match.

“Alta California is a great team,” Caligiuri said. “They came to play but I’m thrilled we were able to take control in the second half and get the win.”